Former radio DJ says he paid Taylor Swift $1 awarded by jury in groping trial


Former radio DJ David Mueller says he instructed his attorney to send Taylor Swift the $1 settlement he owed her after being found guilty of groping the singer.

Mueller provided ABC News a letter showing payment was sent to Swift on Nov. 28. In an email the onetime DJ says was sent to him from his law firm, a legal assistant tells Mueller the letter was sent “with a nice, shiny, new $1 coin!”

The former DJ said he sent a $1 Sacagawea coin, featuring the Native American woman famous for assisting the Lewis and Clark expedition, to “raise awareness” about the plight of murdered and missing native women.

“I thought it would get people to think about Native American women because I had read and researched that there was a huge problem with Native American women disappearing and dying mysteriously in unsolved murders in North America,” Mueller told ABC News.

Native Americans living on reservations face violent crime rates two and a half times the national average, according to a New York Times analysis of 2012 Department of Justice data. Native American women are especially vulnerable.

The same analysis by the Times found that Native women are 10 times as likely to be murdered than non-Native Americans. Native women are raped at a rate four times the national average, according to the data, with more than one in three having been the victim of rape or attempted rape.

The Associated Press reported that Mueller had vowed to send the coin as a final jab at the singer, who called the case a win for “anyone who feels silenced by a sexual assault.”

He disputed that account to ABC News.

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“My message is, I agree with [Swift] that there are women out there who need a voice, and I think Native American women need a voice,” Mueller said. “I didn’t really want to get into explaining it. I just thought if people knew that I paid with a Sacagawea coin, that in itself would raise awareness.”

Swift was among the “silence breakers” — the women behind this year’s #MeToo movement against sexual harassment — chosen as Time magazine‘s 2017 person of the year.

In August, a Denver jury found that Mueller grabbed the singer’s backside at a 2013 meet-and-greet and awarded Swift the $1 she filed for in the civil court case.

Swift told Time that she had not yet received payment from the former DJ, who initially sued her, saying he had been falsely accused and lost his job because of Swift.

“To this day he has not paid me that dollar, and I think that act of defiance is symbolic in itself,” Swift said.

ABC News reached out to the singer’s rep to find out if she had received the $1 that Mueller said he sent, but did not receive an immediate response.